Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
Education, management experience and government experience are some of the big differences between my opponent, Bob Richer, and myself.
After completing my B.S. degree from Utah State University I went on to earn a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. I worked in research and later became the director of research for a large agribusiness.
In addition, I held senior management positions for several major corporations. In each of these positions I managed large budgets and large groups of employees. I have worked and lived in different areas of the United States and have worked in many countries around the world. I have also worked for myself as a private consultant.
While working in the health, safety and environmental areas, I worked closely with government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. I sat in the offices of congressmen and senators successfully lobbying special causes; I testified before Congress; I served on government committees; the governor of Nevada appointed me to the State Emergency Response Commission.
I have dealt with and helped settle a number of significant lawsuits. I have been dealing with government agencies and working with them the way you — the citizens — have to, not as a government employee.
1. The economies in Park City and the Snyderville Basin differ greatly from economics in rural communities in eastern Summit County. Discuss how the needs of voters in western Summit County differ from those on the East Side and how as a commissioner you will represent constituents countywide.
The economics within the Snyderville Basin differ greatly from one development to another. To suggest that the The Colony, Silver Springs, Silver Creek, etc., and Park City are all the same is not correct. The economics of many of the developments in the Snyderville Basin are much closer to communities on the East Side than they are to Park City.
If the question suggests that a commissioner should be elected on the basis of where one lives, it does not deserve an answer. A commissioner should be selected on his/her abilities, qualifications, integrity, honesty, and commitment to represent the entire county and not on the basis of where one lives. I live in Woodland, but I shop and attend events in the Park City/Snyderville areas. I very much like the diversity in the county. I am committed to and will serve the entire county and not just a portion.
2. With a Republican from South Summit facing a Snyderville Basin Democrat in this race for a seat on the Summit County Commission, how much influence should geography have on how voters decide in November?
Geography should not have any influence on how voters vote in November. I don t believe that where an individual resides has any influence on whether he or she is a good commissioner. To suggest that a representative of county government should make decisions for a portion of the county is wrong. An individual who is prejudice for or against a portion of the county should not be elected.
Summit County is very diverse; Park City is clearly a well-developed resort community with a city government that takes care of most residents needs. As a county commissioner, I will continue to support Park City and its local government. I will support the other incorporated communities in a similar manner. I promise to represent all citizens of the county whether they live in the incorporated or the unincorporated areas. I promise to be honest, objective and consistent to all county residents.
3. Do you support plans to build a hospital in Summit County? If so, where, and what role should the county play in development of the facility?
Summit County has already approved annexation of a 160-acre parcel at Quinn s Junction for the purpose of building a hospital. I am absolutely in favor of building a hospital in that location. The medical well being of all of our citizens is a matter that deserves unqualified support from all of the county commissioners. Our citizens board has done a good job in making sure that everyone s medical insurance will be accepted at the hospital at rates on a par with those charged IHC insured patients. By all accounts, IHC provides excellent medical care at the lowest cost. As Summit County commissioner I will do all that I can to encourage construction of that hospital as soon as possible and to provide the necessary atmosphere for that hospital to provide services to our citizens at the lowest possible cost.
4. Summit County s Mountain Regional Water Special Service District is preparing to construct a pipeline to deliver water from Rockport reservoir to homes in Park City and the Snyderville Basin. Officials at the private Summit Water Distribution Co. plan to pipe water into western Summit County from East Canyon reservoir in Morgan County. Discuss the role each pipeline could play in helping to secure an adequate supply of drinking water for residents in western Summit County.
The recently completed Bureau of Reclamation study recommends both pipeline projects be completed to provide for the Snyderville Basin s projected 17,100 acre-foot deficit that would exist by the year 2050 if water resources remain as they are. The East Canyon Pipeline project would supply 70 percent of the deficit and the Rockport Reservoir project would supply 30 percent. Care should be taken to ensure that the Rockport project, which takes water out of the Weber River drainage system and puts it into the East Canyon drainage system, does not create environmental problems or hurt in any way the water rights of current water users and that growth over the entire county is considered. Perhaps a better approach would be to do the East Canyon Project in a manner to benefit both water companies, which would supply 70 percent of the projected needs, before proceeding with the Rockport project.
5. Explain Summit County s responsibility in the ongoing legal disputes between Wolf Mountain Resorts and American Skiing Company at The Canyons. Wolf Mountain leases land to American Skiing to operate The Canyons. How would taxpayers be impacted if Wolf Mountain were allowed to terminate the lease?
The decision handed down on Oct. 12, 2006 by Judge Bruce Lubeck has somewhat changed the need to ask this question; however, it does not change the role of county government in matters like this. The only obligation that Summit County has is to make sure that Wolf Mountain and American Ski ingCompany perform and meet all of the obligations of The Canyons SPA approval. With regard to a civil dispute between Wolf Mountain and American Skiing Company, the county should not interfere in any way with legal issues that surround that lease between private parties other than perhaps to act as mediator.
6. With Summit County named as a defendant in several lawsuits, please discuss this complex legal landscape and how as a commissioner you would help to resolve the litigation.
The real losers in these lawsuits are the citizens of Summit County. Lawsuits in unnecessary numbers are generated by governments when their citizens believe that they are not treated with respect and fairness. This county government, in the past, has shown clear signs of arrogance and bad manners. This ill treatment of citizens breeds anger and contempt which then results in lawsuits.
When the county is wrong, it should admit it early on and resolve these matters without forcing the citizens to file lawsuits. When Summit County is clearly right, it should handle itself respectfully, knowing that it also represents the citizen before it.
Good mediators settle approximately 80 percent of cases that are brought before them, simply because the medium and talent employed is not adversarial. I believe we should hire talented and competent mediators to attempt to bring the parties together on as many cases as we can.
7. The two candidates in the County Commission race have different views on whether citizens, when asked on the ballot in November, should vote to change the form of government in Summit County. Should the three-member Summit County Commission change to a five-member council with a professional manager? Why or why not?
I am not opposed to a change in county government. However, I am opposed to the form of government change that will be on the ballot. The proposed change adds another layer of government that county citizens must deal with. It has a built-in scapegoat for which the full-time manager and the council can blame each other for problems that exist in the county. The full-time manager is not accountable to the citizens of the county and has no requirement to even live in the county. The proposal restricts the council person from dealing directly with problems brought before them and requires that they wait until they are in council meeting or executive session before they can address the issue. After careful study and scrutiny of the detailed document, I believe there are many other problems within this proposal that need to be addressed before we make it law.
8. The Summit County Commission has conducted an extensive study of transportation and transit in the Snyderville Basin. Roughly $90 million worth of improvements on Interstate 80 and in the S.R. 224 corridor are expected to be necessary near Kimball Junction during the next 25 years. How should commissioners fund the improvements?
These are common roads used by interstate, intrastate and local travelers. The county should first do everything it possibly can to find federal funds to correct the situation (which should have been addressed many years ago). The commissioners should then attempt to find all available state resources. Once both of those areas have been exhausted, then the commissioners should draft alternative ways of funding the remainder and present those alternatives to the citizens at large to choose how they wish to supply those funds.
Most importantly, as voters, we should be angry at the traffic congestion and snarls that currently exist. This current unacceptable debacle didn t just fall out of the sky. Why hasn t the current commission addressed this issue and planned ahead in an adequate fashion? Currently, we re all losers.
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Councilor Glenn Wright estimated that the ability to provide renewable energy sources for county power will cost the average Summit County resident $0.70 per year above current costs.